Making Public Data More Accessible on the Web

12/12/11 | 11:00:00 AM

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Last year, we launched the Google Public Data Explorer, an online tool that organizes public statistics and brings them to life with interactive exploration and visualizations. Since then, we’ve added dozens of new datasets and received enthusiastic feedback from users around the world. Several data providers, such as the UN Development Programme and Statistics Catalunya, have even integrated the tool into their web sites.

Today, we’re pleased to announce the next step in our public data effort- a completely revamped product featuring an updated look and feel, improved interaction modes, and a new visualization engine.

Now you can:

1. Search across the data
Our most popular datasets have been accessible through Google Web Search for some time, and this will continue to be the case. Now, however, you can also search within the product, across our extensive corpus of public statistics. This allows you to find data on issues such as global competitiveness, population density, or infant deaths. The search page also features a set of sample visualizations and stories, which highlight some of the topics covered by the product.

2. Slice and dice with fewer clicks
Once you’ve selected a dataset, the new exploration UI puts the data front and center. Want to plot “Fertility Rate” instead of “GDP”? Just make a single click in the list to the left of the chart. Interested in the unemployment rate for women as opposed to men? Just as easy. No more digging through pop-ups or settings menus.

3. Access it on any device
Our new charts are built according to open web standards such as HTML5. As a result, they work across all common desktop, tablet, and smartphone configurations, without depending on third-party plugins. We expect the performance and functionality of the charts to improve over time as browser support for HTML5 matures.

Give the new Google Public Data a try, and let us know what you think by posting in our discussion forum.